5 out of 5
Label: Central Processing Unit
Produced by: CPSmith
“Strictly for DJs and MCs,” I’m told, and yet this collection of rebuilt 808 tracks is a perfect listen, on all its lonesome. CPSmith – the aka for Chris Smith, runner of the Central Processing Unit – has gone above and beyond providing base tracks, although certainly these 80s jams could provide plenty of use for that; DJ Tools’ four cuts are all club-ready bangers, beats and synths bopping along in a pure fashion that syncs along with plenty of CPU’s label’s influencers, as well as artists like DMX Krew who are readily using similar cuts as backing for their own phenomenal work.
‘The Soul’ hazes in and out with what one might consider a “standard” synth line, but the track’s 7-minutes are put to good use as other melodies hover along. “Needle to the Groove” is a more slowed down hip-hop beat; “Don’t Stop” is the higher-toned counterpoint to “Soul” – like a call and response – and closer “Clear” closes things out wholly percussion, fast-paced and antsy. The sound quality, as expected of CPU, is excellent: crystal clear and earthy.
I’m sure there’s further history to unpack here, and people with actual musical skills to counter my lack of them will use the tracks as they’re designed, but I’m still listening to the core beats, bobbing my head for hours while it loops on repeat.